Saturday, November 4, 2017

Fall Life Through My Phone

It's been little while since I've done an update so for history sake, here we go.

Labor Day Hike

Unfortunately there was so much forest fires in the area both here and across the western half of the US. It's crazy that at the same time Houston was experiencing their major flooding. The polar opposites going on.

With all the fires, it was hard to get out much near the end of summer to do anything outdoors. We did make it to the pool near the end of August (the first time that summer, isn't that blasemphy?!) and we had so much fun seeing our former neighbors. Their two little girls hung on to us the whole time.

But during Labor Day weekend, we ventured to Kamiak Butte for a hike. It was more smoky than anticipated but still good. And because I own no shorts, hiking in skirts in the way to go! It's the new thing, didn't you know?




And needing to stop by our favorite sandwich shop afterwards is a must.


In the middle of September, we loved stopping by the local fair. Austin especially loved visiting with the recycling guys at their display table. We also saw one of my friend's quilts...people's talents: amazing.


And I couldn't resist taking a picture of Multnomah Falls. Always makes me long for home.


Austin has been reading a lot more, mostly through audiobooks, on his commute to the school. But he got sucked into The Mysterious Benedict Society books and is anticipating reading the next one. He's also read The Wright Brothers, The Notorious Benedict Arnold, and he's in the middle of Last Days of Night. I read the latter recently as well and really enjoyed it. It's about the war of electricity between Edison and Westinghouse. Who really invented the light bulb? It's like the equivalent of Steve Jobs vs Bill Gates. There's a movie coming out this fall called "The Current War" which highlights this story of Edison and Westinghouse and it's got Benedict Cumberbatch so of course it's gotta be good. Excited to see it. 




Speaking of Austin, he passed the FE (Fundamental of Engineering) exam! On to the next step to being a professional engineer. He put in a lot of hours studying. He's also done a lot with career fairs and applying for jobs. Just the other day he emailed a VP of a company to get information about their company and they had a good chat yesterday. That takes guts and proud that he's putting himself out there. The job waiting game is frustrating and exciting with every new city he brings up as a prospect. 


On Friday the 13th our friends hosted a Murder Mystery Night. They created the whole game and had about 4 other couples with specific characters too. As part of the game, they had us all go the stake adult dance. It turned out to be more fun than I expected once we let loose on the dance floor. ;) My favorite thing was watching this old lady do the cha cha slide. Worth coming for that. 


Because the sun goes down so early, I told Austin we needed to have our going on walks earlier in the afternoon because the trees! So gorgeous. I drive by this area a couple of times a week and I have to restrain myself from pulling over all the time and taking pictures. It's hard to capture the beauty in a tiny frame but I love this area. They know how to do fall right. 






And more pictures of this fall. I love this bush which I call the rainbow bush. On this later in the evening walk, we turn the corner and with that sunset Austin yells, "SIMBA!" 

And now watching the snow fall outside is making me miss fall already. #pleasecomeback #notreadyforwinter




Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Year of Classic Literature


After talking with my friend, Sam, about her love for Far From the Madding Crowd, I resolved to pick it up from the library so I could chat with her about it later. She said she was surprised this one didn't take off and Pride and Prejudice did. That really intrigued me. 

I didn't start reading it right away as I also got a book from the library that "internet people" have been loving. It's a new release and it reminds me of Kate Morton's books (which I love) but it also seems a little flat. There is a time and place for books for pleasure and then books to learn. What I've been learning a lot lately is our brains naturally want us to do the easy thing. It avoids the hard, challenging work. I started noticing that I do this with the books I read. I've been neglecting classics or putting them off and instead gone for the quick, enthralling reads. Again, a time and place for those for sure. I think I will always revert back to those when I need a breather. But I love learning and I've had a great desire to learn how to read these classics but that requires doing the hard work. And I know not all the classics are hard work but I love when the writing challenges me a little more. 

This year I got caught up in the numbers on my Goodreads reading challenge. I did have my  blog reading challenge and in some ways I stretched myself and other ways I didn't. I pretty much have the challenge completed and I'm not sure if that's a sign that it was a real goal or not. ;) Don't we need to fail at these kind of things once in a while? 

Ever since I started putting books on my IG book account, I notice that I follow people who read the new and upcoming "thriller" reads. Not many people post about the classics. And I've read some of these books they highly recommend and in a lot of cases, I haven't jumped on the hype. I think this means that I want more when it comes to my reading. I want to be more intentional about it. 

It's so invigorating to read a classic and find worthwhile gems and it provides a reading experience that will stay with you. 

I found this post (and subsequently read so many of her other posts), that it inspired me to pick up more classics as well. 

Okay, the hard and fun part is what to read and how much I should read. This will be for next year's goal. I'm deciding between once a month or once every six weeks (because that's how long I get a book from the library if I renew it). I'm still trying to figure out if there should be a theme to this. 

And do I do some of them abridged or not? Which ones should I tackle on audio?

I'm also trying to figure out if I should slow my way into the classics by reading books where I'm familiar with the story like Little Dorrit and Mansfield Park? 

And do I intentionally pick books that I think I might hate like Wuthering Heights?

Here is the book list with definite add-ons later...

Far From the Madding Crowd
Uncle Tom's Cabin
Count of Monte Cristo
Anna Karenina
Middlemarch
The Remains of the Day
Huck Finn
Tom Sawyer
Dracula
Frankenstein
War and Peace
The Great Gatsby
Les Miserables
Crime and Punishment
Angle of Repose
The Scarlett Letter
The Age of Innocence 
Little Dorrit
Great Expectations
Walden
East of Eden
Lord of the Rings
The Color Purple
Brideshead Revisted
Brave New World
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Wuthering Heights
Mansfield Park
Northanger Abbey
The Secret Garden
The Woman in White
The Wind in the Willows
The House of Mirth
Quicksand
My Antonia
The Handsmaid Tale
The Portrait of a Lady
Watership Down
Jamaica Inn
Lonesome Dove
The Hobbit
Bleak House
Oliver Twist
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
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What would you add to the list? Are there any you see that I absolutely HAVE to read? Or are them some that I should completely avoid? I would love to know! 

I'm going to try to narrow down my picks by the end of the year so I can make a good headway on them come January. I'm pretty excited about it!

Monday, October 9, 2017

That One Time I Met Eowyn Ivey

Don't mind me, just trying to hold my coat between my legs. 
Sometimes wandering on the internet can prove to be providential. 

I was looking up information on our local county fair and it led me to our city's website. There they had a list of main events that month and as it was scrolling it said that Eowyn Ivey would be coming to the Book People! I freaked out slightly (okay a lot) because one, I thought I missed it, but two, because it's Eowyn Ivey! 

I read her first novel, The Snow Child, back in January and fell in love with it. It sums up what a good reading experience is for me. Where you feel everything in that book. It's going to be a re-read every winter for sure. 

I hurriedly bought the book online but feeling rather guilty that I didn't buy it from my local bookstore. After hearing from Eowyn about her love for local bookstores and what it does to getting the word out about books, it made me want to support mine more. 

The Book People is such a cute store as well. Apparently it's the oldest local bookstore in Idaho, represent! ;) 

There was quite a big crowd for the event considering the size of the bookstore. People came some great lengths to hear her speak. Check out the photo she took here. Can you spot Austin and I? 


Ok, Eowyn was so genuine. She kind of reminded me of my sis-in-law Dani. She was so fascinating to listen to. The purpose of the book tour was to talk about To The Bright Edge of the World. I read this book earlier this summer and really enjoyed it but not as much as The Snow Child. I really wish I read the book after hearing her speak (isn't that how it always goes?) 

She told of how she came upon articles written from this voyage and took some liberties with the story so it wasn't just a re-telling. I loved the character Sophie in it and she read a part from the book when she tried to steal a copy of the book on obstetrics. Gave us all a good laugh. 

In The Snow Child, she mentioned that Mabel was a rather depressing character to be in her head for 3 years so she was so grateful once Esther came along. I think that inspired her not to make Sophie a down-in-the-dumps type character. :) 

If you've read To the Bright Edge of the World, you'll know that there is some pictures and maps in there.  Even though she made up the Wolverine River, her and husband took an excursion down a similar river that she imagined to be the Wolverine River. She captured some photos of that journey and some of them are in the book. 

They wanted to know if she would want to do the audio version of her book. She felt the task very daunting and did her absolute best but was really fine if they decided to go with someone else. Luckily for her, they chose several professional narrators to take the place and she is much happier because of that. I didn't realize how extensive it is to get an audiobook recorded. 

There was time for Q&A. People wanted to know how she became a writer and she said it just stemmed from being a reader. Her family would all come to the dinner table with books. She worked in a local bookstore and came across the Russian folktale that inspired The Snow Child and then came across the articles from the bookstore as well to come up with To The Bright Edge of the World

She attributed local bookstores for the success of The Snow Child. A random bookstore decided to give it a chance. And it took off from there and it became a Pulitzer Prize finalist and published in many languages and soon to be a musical. She said no one would have known about her
being some young writer from Alaska but having a bookstore take a chance on her was what made all the difference. 

People asked if she was working on something now and I love her response: "I'm not bored yet. I have some ideas in my head but I can't really get down to the writing process until I'm really bored." She's in the middle of about 6 books and she introduced me to authors that I was not familiar with (now I can't remember!) She does a lot of audiobooks as she is commuting her children to and from school. 

I did get the book signed from her and told her it was my favorite read this year. She really was a delight to be around. I can't wait to read more of her work.  

The best part about these events is you sit next to a stranger, ask what they're reading, and exchange email addresses so you can send recommendations. Book people are the best people. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Third Quarter Reading

Here are some of my favorite reads these past three months. You can see my full list on Goodreads. And then I'll post at the bottom some books I'm looking forward to reading this next quarter. 

Fiction

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell: I pretty much decided to read this on a whim. I knew one of my goals this year was to read a book over 700 pages so I decided to go with this one. And then I decided my Mom should join in on the fun. For a book about 1000 pages, it didn't seem that long...ok, there were some skimming parts for sure, but it wasn't a dread to pick it up. Mitchell is a fantastic writer and she gives you a lot to think about it by the end. My Mom and I had a great 45 minute chat once I finished about characters we liked and disliked, what we would do in certain situations, and such. We both concluded that Ashley was a really weak character. Meaning him and Scarlett were actually more perfect for each other than him and Melanie. He just fell flat in my mind the whole time I read the book. I felt some pity for him at the end (if you've read the book, you know what I'm talking about) because it seems any sort of spark of courage or determination was plucked out of him. 

Despite Rhett being a womanizer, we actually really liked him. Him and Scarlett were a lot alike in my opinion but he was more mature to not let her run his life like she did with so many other men. I loved his relationship with his daughter at the end. 

Scarlett was so self absorbed it was almost comical. But in the end, I felt a twinge of sadness for her. I mean she was finally understanding what she really wanted and now it was out of her reach. But by the last sentence of the book, I thought, 'nope, she still has no idea what she wants.' #facepalm 

Mr. Rochester by Sarah Shoemaker: I never know what I'm going to get with a re-telling of a classic story. I'm glad this wasn't just another rehash of Jane Eyre told in modern setting, though. The author was able to use her own liberties with the story but then come back to Bronte's version pretty seamlessly. I thought she was a great writer and even though it's hard to match Bronte's style exactly (I mean, it's Bronte!) I thought it was well done. 

I was a little skeptical of his side of the story and the extra drama that the author put in but it really flowed so seamlessly that it felt like that really was his backstory. It's so weird not to have Jane's side of the story. It almost made her seem really flat as a character because she wasn't in it a ton. The time when she's at Thornfield is more condensed. There was a lot of back story before she comes. All in all, a great read and it makes me want to pick up Jane Eyre again. The audio version of Mr. Rochester is fantastic. 

Nonfiction

Not in God's Name by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks: Full review here

The Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg: I feel sad to say I hardly knew anything about RBG...okay, basically that she's on the Supreme Court and that's it. This was part of the social book club read in September and I'm glad I read this fast and interesting book. It was a great look into her life and the hoops she had to jump in a world of even more suppression of woman becoming lawyers and succeeding in a "man's world". She did a lot for our country in equalizing men and women in the workforce. 

I really appreciate people who can tell their ideas on some hard issues of the day like abortion and marriage rights, etc., and I get an 'uh, never thought about that before' moment. It doesn't drastically change what I believe but I'm grateful for the other side that makes me think differently on such subjects. Two words for RBG: girl power. 

Memoir:

An Unseen Angel by Alissa Parker: Wow, lots of tears in this one. It made me depressed and comforted all at the same time. I don't know why certain things happen to certain people but I appreciate when they tell their story of hope, forgiveness, and how their faith is strengthened so it helps my faith to be strengthened. 


Textbook by Amy Krouse Rosenthal : I know a lot of people got weepy in this one but one thing I remember from reading this is the funny parts (does that make me a bad person?) I was trying to explain to Austin one part of the book and I couldn't because I was laughing too much. She explained a part of my life to a T. I am saddened by her loss, though. She wrote such beautiful essays. I'm in the middle of a food memoir and the essays just can't compare at all. 

Young Adult

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas: Overall I'm really glad I had this book because it's an eye opener for sure. The language was a bit much for me but I can see how it painted a picture of their life and I'm guessing it's pretty accurate. It's just a bummer that I'm apprehensive about recommending it for that reason. 

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys : This one is great if you're looking for a fast but engaging read. At first it took me a little bit to get a sense of place in the story. It's not a very detail read because the chapters are so short but it's one that can pull at your heart strings at the end. And about a part of history that I knew nothing about. 

Middle Grade

Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar: This might not be knock-your-socks-off-amazing but it's a story that I think sticks with you. I don't really look at bees the same and it's fun when an author can throw in some magical realism to change your thinking on things. Solid middle grade fiction. 

4th quarter TBR:
Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan
Still Life by Louise Penny
The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser
Caroline by Sarah Miller
The Other Alcott by Elise Hooper
Code Girls by Liza Mundy

What's on your reads this fall? 

Monday, October 2, 2017

The Scarlett O'Hara Theory


I love the feeling when you read a wide variety of books, you start making connections from one book to the next. This happened while reading Born Survivors and the connection it had to Gone With the Wind.

Anka, one of the pregnant mothers in these concentration camps, loved the book and movie Gone With the Wind. She always took to heart Scarlett's saying, "I'll think it about it tomorrow." It's a phrase she makes throughout the book. When Anka was in these camps and the pain and suffering was too terrible to bear at that moment, she would put the Scarlett O'Hara theory into practice of "I'll think about it tomorrow."

I've thought about this phrase while reading this book. I think the phrase can be good and not so good depending on different circumstances. From a person like myself who is not in deadly or dangerous circumstances and is a procrastinator in more than one thing, I sometimes would often say "I'll think about it tomorrow." It would give me that sigh of relief for a day until I would  have to think about it. Then the anxiety comes and I've got to figure it out so I don't constantly push it off. Sometimes it takes me a few 'think about it tomorrow' days.

But then there is the other side of things where in your circumstances it's actually beneficial and hopeful. I can't even fathom the concentration camp and what they went through. The book is very descriptive which was rather depressing but important. It's good to be aware that you have a lot more than you realize. It's an uncomfortable, good thing. But when faced with grief or a debilitating situation like they were in, one day at a time is probably the best approach.

This morning I listened to this podcast where she talks about the lens of focus we give in different situations of our lives. She recounted a woman who just lost her husband and now had to take care of her three children on her own. When she woke up and heard the kids in the family room making noise, all she could think about was "how am I going to do this?" Then the thought came to her, "just go make breakfast." It wasn't asking her to get dressed, do laundry, make lunches, etc. It just told her to do one thing and she knew she could do that one thing.

When we are going through a tragedy or a really difficult time in our lives, it is good to say, "can I just do today?" It's all about narrowing our focus of lens to a short amount of time instead of thinking way off in the future. You know you've thought too far ahead in the future when you start to feel anxiety about it.

I've already seen this principle in my life as of last week. It's a simple thing but it's helped. I have a new job where I get up early in the morning and teach ESL online. Last week was my first week and I was feeling really unsure of how to do any of it. This was a huge learning curve that I was not expecting and I felt really discouraged. Then the thought was can I just do today's classes? Just do those 3 classes. Don't think about the classes you'll have to do the next day. I was having a 'you can think about it tomorrow' type of moment.

And it worked.

I was felt really empowered that I could do it because I wasn't thinking so far in advanced. I'm so glad I'm learning this tool now to prepare me for whatever happens.

I guess Scarlett O'Hara was right about one thing after all. :)
*****************


Have you seen this principle work in your life?

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Not in God's Name: Confronting Religious Violence by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks


A couple of years ago, my sis-in-law, Tiffany, recommend this book by Sacks and it sounded so intriguing that I wanted to get my hands on it. I finally finished it the other day and I'm so glad I read it.

This took me a long time to get through but it's still worth it. It's his philosophy of why there is religious violence and how to combat it. In the end, the main gist of what I got was, put yourself in someone's else shoe. Don't look to your past of how you were treated and make avenge. Rather, use the past experiences as a way to say "we can't let that happen again." He referred to Jews he met who were survivors of the concentration camp. They were ones to easily put their past behind them and say "never again."

"Jewish law forbids human beings from bearing a grudge or taking vengeance: 'You shall blog [any offenses against you] our of your mind and not bear a grudge. For as long as one nurses a grievance and keeps it in mind, one may come to take vengeance. The Torah therefore emphatically warns us not to bear a grudge, so that the impression of the wrong should be completely obliterated and no longer remembered. This is the right principle. It alone makes civilized life and social interaction possible. ' This is the corollary of belief in divine justice. If vengeance belongs to God, it does not belong to us." pg. 246

I was just thinking about the call to help refugees in "I was a stranger" initiative that the LDS church has put on. Dating back to our history, we should know what it means like to be a stranger and a refugee because of the pioneers. We don't want to seek revenge on those who have hurt us in the past but rather realize we can't do this to anyone else.

All of his philosophy was in the backdrop of Biblical narratives like Abraham, sibling rivalry with Esau and Jacob, role reversal, the covenant people, etc. I could see this book being part of a college class. It was so deep. In my mind, Sacks is a genius.

Because I have to take the book to the library today, I thought I would write down passages from the book as a way of reminding myself what I liked. 
********************************************

"Violence has nothing to do with religion as such. It has to do with identity and life in groups. Religion sustains groups more effectively than any other force." pg. 39 A world without identities will be a world without war.

"The last chapter argued that violence is born of the need for identity and the formation of groups. These lead to conflict and war. But war is normal. Altruistic evil is not normal. Suicide bombings, the targeting of civilians and the murder of schoolchildren are not normal. Violence may be possible wherever this is an Us and a Them. But radical violence emerges only when we see the Us as all-good and the Them as all-evil, heralding a war between the children of light and the forces of darkness. That is when altruistic evil is born." pg. 48

"Pathological dualism does three things. It makes you dehumanize and demonize your enemies. It leads you to see yourself as a victim. And it allows you to commit altruistic evil, killing in the name of the God of life, hating in the name of the God of love and practicing cruelty in the name of the God of compassion." pg. 54

"Defining yourself as a victim is a denial of what makes you human. We see ourselves as objects, not subjects. We become done-to, not doers; passive, not active. Blame bars the path to responsibility...blame cultures perpetuate every condition against which they are a protest." pg. 61 

"When dehumanization and demonization are combined with a sense of victimhood, the third stage comes possible: the commission of evil in an altruistic cause." pg.61-62 (Think Nazi's for example).

Idea of scapegoat: "is both all-powerful and powerless. If the scapegoat were actually powerful, it could no longer fulfill its essential function as the-victim-of-violence-without-risk-of-reprisal...but if the scapegoat were believed to be powerless, it could not plausibly be cast as the cause of our present troubles...for a thousand years the scapegoat of choice in Europe and the Middle East has been the Jews. They were the most conspicuous outsiders: non-Christians in a Christian Europe, non-Muslims in an Islamic Middle East...Jews are its victims but they are not its cause. The cause is conflict within culture." pg. 76

Sibling rivalry: "It is now clear why Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have been locked in a violent, sometimes fatal embrace for so long. Their relationship is sibling rivalry, fraught with mimetic desire: the desire for the same thing, Abraham's promise." pg. 98

"The way we learn not to commit evil is to experience an event from the perspective of the victim." pg. 158

"Dividing the world into saints and sinners, the saved and the damned, the children of God and the children of the devil, is the first step down the road to violence in the name of God." pg. 169

"God does not prove his love for some by hating others. Neither, if we follow him, may we." pg. 173

"To be cured of potential violence towards the Other, I must be able to imagine myself as the Other." pg. 179

"What is difficult is loving the stranger. We are genetically disposed to defensive-aggressive conduct when faced with someone not like us, outside the group, not bound by its code of mutual identity and reciprocity. The stranger is always potentially a threat." pg. 181

"To one who has a hammer, said Abraham Maslow, every problem looks like a nail. Politics is about power, but not every political problem has a solution that involves power. Failure to see this can cost a civilization dear. It almost cost Judaism its life." pg. 220

"It makes space for difference. It recognizes that within a complex society there are many divergent views, traditions and moral systems...All it seeks to do is ensure that those who have differing views are able to live peaceably and graciously together, recognizing that none of us has the right to impose our views on others." pg. 230

"Religion is at its best when it relies on strength of argument and example. It is at its worst when it seeks to impose truth by force." pg. 234
*************************************

Really, this book is packed with so many insights and I could have written down more. Highly recommend taking time to read this book. You'll gain a lot from it. 

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Sharing the Good


Some tidbits that I've loved lately...

I share an account with my mom and sister with Deseret bookshelf which has tons of great audiobooks, ebooks, and talks for a good price each month (especially when you split the cost with two other people). Lately Austin and I have been listening to Hank Smith or Sheri Dew talks while we get ready for the day. They are both equally hilarious and inspiring. It's bringing back a lot of good memories of me and my sister Emily driving the Mazda in high school and having two Sheri Dew talks on repeat.

Since my friend Melanie moved to Florida, I've been on the lookout for a new piano teacher. I had the though to email a lady in the stake and she had one spot left. It turned out great and I just went with it. My first lesson was today and first, the area in her house where we have lessons is beautiful. She has this nice baby grand where the side of it is up against these windows that have sheer curtains and the sun just comes in the house real nice. It's like, how can you not play beautiful music here? 

I applied for a piano teaching position at this academy here (sounds more official than I think it is). Haven't heard back but being at my piano lesson today just sparked in me that I can totally do this. I've been really worried that me being out of the music scene for almost 10 years would put me behind in a lot of ways. Learning music is like learning a language (especially when it comes to theory) and so I really need to brush up on it. It's one thing to know it but then to teach it is a whole other game, especially when it's young kids. I've been finding these great resources though and it's given me confidence that I can do this. And motivates me to build up my studio in time. 


Even though we don't have a piano right now, I'm so glad we live close to campus where there is a whole building dedicated to practice rooms. I just back my little backpack, head on the trail to campus, and listen to a good audiobook on the way. Right now I'm listening to "A Greater Journey" by David McCullough. Really interesting. 

For the love of Kale: I think I have this deep inner desire to be hippie, or at least I tell myself that because we still don't own a microwave. #sorryBubs But this summer I've been like 'give me all the kale'! I'm so bizarre but my lunch is just pile high of kale, hummus, salsa, candied jalapeƱos, rice, and chips. It's so good. 

Institute-Ever since winter 2012, when I met Austin, I have always taken an institute class (minus that one summer in Pocatello) but that's almost 6 years and I still have not technically 'graduated' from Institute. #facepalm But I really just go because I love learning and I love the gospel so I'll take any chance I get. I'm especially excited about this semesters class. 

We have a new institute director (who knows Dani and Nic and apparently is a big Ute fan so I'll be sure to wear my BYU shirt any chance I get) but he is a phenomenal teacher! Our first lesson was just packed with good stuff. We're studying the first half of the Book of Mormon. We looked at the title page and it talks about how the Book of Mormon is to convince us that Jesus is the Christ. We could have spent all class just giving such scriptural examples. Then we read in 1 Nephi 1 about tender mercies and if the beginning and the ending of the Book of Mormon is evidence of God's tender mercies, then we need to find them in the scriptures. I never looked at it that way before but just between the first and fifth chapters there were so many. It's opened my eyes to a new way of studying. 

Looking for a good movie? Austin and I loved "A United Kingdom". The description from imdb: The story of King Seretse Khama of Botswana and how his loving but controversial marriage to a British white woman, Ruth Williams, put his kingdom into political and diplomatic turmoil.

Looking for a good laugh? You need to watch Kellen Erskine's dry bar comedy routine on VidAngel. You don't need a membership (I think you do need to sign up) but it's free on there. It's only 40 minutes long. I think I've seen it 4 times and I laugh hard every time! 

What good things have you found recently?